Niigata is the capital and the most populous city of Niigata Prefecture located in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is the largest city on the west coast of Honshu, and the second largest city in Chūbu region after Nagoya. It faces the Sea of Japan and Sado Island. As of 1 July 2019, the city had an estimated population of 797,591, and a population density of 1,098 persons per km². The total area is 726.45 square kilometres. Greater Niigata, the Niigata Metropolitan Employment Area, has a GDP of US$43.3 billion as of 2010.
With a long history as a port town, Niigata became a free port following the Meiji Restoration. Niigata's city government was established in 1889. Mergers with nearby municipalities in 2005 allowed the city's population to jump to 810,000. The annexation of the surrounding area has also given the city the greatest rice paddy field acreage in Japan. On April 1, 2007, it became the first government-designated city on the Japan Sea coast of Honshu.